|SoundStage! Music Online Editor's Pick
Jim Roll - Lunette
That street musician you stopped to hear and thought could make it big is Jim Roll, and Lunette, Roll's second CD, will make you pull for him even more. Roll, a Chicagoan, knows his Bob Dylan, but his sensibilities run more parallel to those of one of my fave bands, The Bottle Rockets, but filtered through Neil Young. The songs on Lunette are Roll originals and speak of personal connection, in various shades, but not in a simplistic, fodder-for-songs way. Roll, it seems, accepts his role in the world around him, perhaps from greater maturity, perhaps from simply the passing of time. And amidst it all, the countrified melodies are just unfamiliar enough to be truly engaging. Lunette is a fine collection, but I for one am eager to discover where Roll heads from here....Marc Mickelson
The Renovators - Rhythm and Blueprints
Owners of The Loft Recording Studios in Bronxville, NY by day, bluesmen by night, Al and Ted Hemberger have worked in the studio with Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears and toured with Aerosmith, Foreigner and Robert Plant -- among others. But Rhythm and Blueprints shows the two brothers, principals of The Renovators, to be purveyors of some seriously fun and accomplished bar blues. The Renovators are the band you'd remember from the time you heard them at the union, and you'd have bought their CD afterwards. Club dates and fishing are two of the more, well, interesting song topics, but the strength of the playing, and playfulness, make Rhythm and Blueprints a road trip from beginning to end. Recommended for play at your next frat party -- or on a rainy afternoon when you need the skies, and world, to lighten up....Marc Mickelson
High Fidelity Soundtrack
Not since Beautiful Girls has a movie so clearly captured the essence of guys with an inability to commit to relationships. The men of High Fidelity include three music-loving employees of a record store called Championship Vinyl. Besides pining and reminiscing over relationships, they do nothing all day but listen to and talk about music -- obscure, top 40, they know it all like its religion. Not surprisingly, the soundtrack to this excellent film is an eclectic mix of rock that includes The Kinks "Everybodys Gonna Be Happy," Bob Dylans "Most of the Time," The Velvet Undergrounds "Who Loves The Sun," among many others. A high point of the film, which is included here, is when co-star Jack Black does a rousing rendition of "Lets Get It On." Unfortunately missing from the soundtrack is Peter Framptons "Baby, I Love Your Way," which was sung in the film by Lisa Bonet playing singer Marie DeSalle. It was one of the reasons I bought this, darn it! Overall, despite that flaw, this is a fun and diverse release nevertheless that may cause some reminiscing of your own....Doug Schneider
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